Best and Worst Cities for Saving Money

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In order to save money, a household’s income needs to exceed its spending. Economics doesn’t get any simpler than that.

But it quickly gets more complicated. If you want to live in Los Angeles, for example, it costs a lot more than it does to live in, say, Omaha, where the median salary is nearly the same. The average monthly rent in Los Angeles eats up nearly 95% of the monthly household income. In Omaha, monthly rent equals about 29% of the monthly income. Other things equal, if you want to save money, live in Omaha.

In its third survey of the best and worst U.S. cities for saving money, GoBankingRates looked at seven factors that most affect your ability to save money in a particular city and came up with a list of the 15 cities that are the best for saving and the 15 that are the worst.

The seven factors are median household income, unemployment rate, median home list price, median rent price, average gas price, average monthly cost of groceries and sales tax.

We’ve listed the five best and worst here, but visit the GoBankingRates website for the full list and all the data points.

First, the five worst cities for saving money:

  1. San Francisco, California: Median income: $81,294; median house price: $1.195 million; median rent: $4,500
  2. Los Angeles, California: Median income: $50,205; median house price: $725,000; median rent: $3,950
  3. Oakland, California: Median income: $54,618; median house price: $589,000; median rent: $2,750
  4. New York City, New York: Median income: $53,373; median house price: $774,950; median rent: $2,700
  5. Anaheim, California: Median income: $60,752; median house price: $570,000; median rent: $2,650

Here are the five cities that are best for saving money.

  1. Virginia Beach, Virginia: Median income: $66,634; median house price: $279,900; median rent: $1,600
  2. San Antonio, Texas: Median income: $46,744; median house price: $232,443; median rent: $1,200
  3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Median income: $47,779; median house price: $179,900; median rent: $995
  4. Omaha, Nebraska: Median income: $49,896; median house price: $214,000; median rent: $1,200
  5. Arlington, Texas: Median income: $53,326; median house price: $199,000; median rent: $1,495